The Altay region lies at the middle of the Altay Mountains' southern slope in the northernmost part of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, bordering Kazakstan, Russia, and Mongolia. The borderline is as long as over 1,100 kilometers, and the region covers 117,000 square kilometers.
The location of the administrative agency -- Altay City -- is 666 kilometers from Urumqi via the No.216 highway, but 707 kilometers away via the No.217 highway. Under its administration are six counties and one city, with a population of 568,300, with most of the people being of ethnic minorities such as the Kazaks, Mongols, Uygurs, and Huis.
The region has a cultivated land of 176,200 hectares, a grain-sown area (including re-sown area) of 48,200 hectares, and a cash crop-sown area of 56,800 hectares. It has a northern temperate frigid-section continental climate.
The Altay region -- one of the areas rich in water resources -- has 56 big and small rivers represented by the Ertix River and the Ulungu River, with a total annual run-off of 133.7 hundred million cubic meters and a reserved water-energy capacity of 3,420,000 kilowatts.
The region has an available pastureland area of 7,239,000 hectares, 14.3% of the total pastureland area in Xinjiang. It has a mountainous forest area of 690,000 hectares and a living forest reserve of 9,110,000 cubic meters. The valuable species of trees are the Siberia fir, the fir, and the red pine; the river valley forest area is 255,000 hectares and the living forest reserve is 1,120,000 cubic meters, dominated by poplar and white birch.
The Altay Mountain has been a producer of gold since ancient times, and 84 kinds of ore in 11 categories have been found in its territory, with a proven mineral reserve of 41.
Altay region has four trading ports and nine roads. The famous tourist sites are the Kanas Lake Nature Reserve, the Ulungu Lake Resort, the White Sand Lake, the Mingsha Mountain, and the Qierqiek ancient tombs and grassland stone figures.
Altay is also known for its cultural relics, boasting pictures on the rock faces, color paintings on the walls of the caves, and carved figures from art galleries.